Why do employees waste time at work and how can employers stop them?

Bored employee playing at workWasting time at work seems to continue to be a huge problem for companies all over the word. A study conducted over the American workers revealed that Americans still waste approximately 2 hours from their work time each day. The first question that came into my mind was why are they doing this, especially at these times. Now, when the companies? focus must be on increasing productivity, why do the employees still waste precious time?

In order to solve this problem and to provide solutions for managers to stop employees from wasting time at work, first we have to determine the causes that lead to this issue. We will consider, in this respect the results of the above mentioned survey conducted by Salary.com. They have surveyed 2500 employees from all job levels and their findings were:

  • Young employees waste more time at work. The reason for this could be the fact that they misunderstand the meaning of getting more done with spending more time at work. Maybe the work experience speaks in here and they do not have yet the sense of productivity and efficiency.
  • One third of the employees spend their work-time for non-work related activities because they do not have enough work to do. At a first glance, the solution for this is very easy. Give your employees more tasks. Well, this is not quite the wiser decision. The key component in productivity, innovation and job satisfaction is personal and professional development. Thus, a solution for this issue could be to fill wasted time with developmental programs and resources. Provide opportunities for employees to grow personally and professionally.
  • One quarter of the employees waste their time at work because they feel that they are not paid enough for their efforts. What could I say about this category of employees? My opinion: they shouldn?t be in that place. Every person is the only responsible for personal success and happiness. If they feel underpaid, they should get a better job! It?s up to them. As for the motivation, employees are actually more likely to be motivated by regular praise, respect in the office place, a sense of having a real voice in the business and some level of job security. These things matter more to most people than high wages do.

If you are a pro-active employer, there are a lot of ways that can be done to reduce wasted time. Remember that there are several benefits that employees value more than wages.

Still, if you?re an employee, in the end it?s your responsibility to use your time properly on the job! You don?t have to wait for a corporate program to develop your talents and abilities. Use down time to improve yourself, this would both benefit you and your company. If you really don?t have enough work to do, ask your supervisor to allow you to utilize wasted time for professional development.


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2 Responses to “Why do employees waste time at work and how can employers stop them?”


  • Another reason why employees are wasting time i think it’s correlated about their personal life. For example if they have a personal problem they will not be able to focus on their work until that problem is solved.

  • For example if they have a personal problem they will not be able to focus on their work until that problem is solved

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